By Bryan Hoopaugh
Williston comes off a hard fought loss to Newberry to host Eagles View Academy of Jacksonville tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Williston enters the contest with a record of 4-2 and the Eagles’ coming into the game with a record of 0-4.
Eagle View has allowed at least 40 points to be scored on them in each of their four games this year and Williston will look to extend this streak.
The Red Devils will rely upon establishing the running game with senior Keith Neal leading the way as the primary rusher.
Depth in the running game has benefited Williston all season and this week should be no different.
With four active running backs each game, Williston has been able to keep fresh legs in the back field ensuring speed all the way into the fourth quarter.
Last week’s hard fought loss against Newberry with a score of 29-31 showed again the resilience of a team that will not quit until the last second has gone off the clock.
The Red Devils displayed a much improved team last week in both penalties and the passing game.
For the first game this season Williston had no personal foul penalties, and outside of a holding call and a few five yarders, kept penalties to a minimum.
The Red Devils’ receivers also found a way to hold onto the ball as Stephen Cochlin was able to improve on the passing game keeping Newberry on edge most of the game.
Although Eagle’s View has a record most would believe to be inferior to Williston, Coach Jamie Baker said he does not take the matchup lightly. “We have to show up and play our “A” game each Friday night no matter the competition,” Baker said.
Williston allowed 207 yards to Newberry’s running back Monte Seabrook last week and will be pressed to keep the Eagles’ rushing to a minimum this week.
Big plays have been the juggernaut for Williston in both of their losses this year.
Newberry and Dixie County were able to outscore Williston through scoring plays of 40 yards or better in each of Williston’s losses this year.
Keeping the big plays to a bare minimum will be a goal for the defense the remainder of the season as the Red Devils will have to face Chiefland and Union County in the upcoming weeks. Wins in both upcoming district matches will be necessary for Williston to be in contention for a district title.
Williston has just four games left in the regular season with two of the four being district rivalries with Chiefland coming to Williston on Oct. 18 and then finishing the regular season schedule with a road game against Union County on Nov. 1.
Williston has already surpassed last year’s number of games won 2 to 1 but coaches, players and fans are not ready to call this year a success quite yet.
With Eagle View, Chiefland, Lacanto and Union County still yet to play Williston will look to extend its record in the win column.
Outside the district match ups should be able to put a few more wins in the record books and with some hard playing and discipline be able to finish the season with a winning record.